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Art & Nature: Dispatch from Tajikistan

Wednesday, December 16 @ 7:00PM

How much do you know about Tajikistan?  For most of us the answer is, “not much.”

On December 16th you will learn about this Central Asian country located on the 38th parallel. Tajikistan became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The ensuing chaos and the civil war from 1992-1997, created an opportunity for the autocratic regime to take control, and since then Tajiks have been struggling to find their new national and ethnic identity, while fighting poverty and slow economic growth.

We will hear about Tajikistan’s rich history, its traditional decorative and applied arts, colorful embroidery and carpets, as well as a contemporary art scene and the problems artists encounter in the state-controlled environment.

We will also hear about the environmental issues facing Tajikistan: environmental pollution caused by cement and coal production, land degradation, limited access to water resources, lack of infrastructure and the valiant efforts of a small group of activists from the Black Smith Institute in Tajikistan to fight deterioration and create meaningful change.

Our presenter will be Lolisanam Ulugova, independent curator/art manager from Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan.

Lola Ulugova (Lolisanam) founded and directed Tajik Bio-Cultural Initiatives, a NGO dedicated to Tajik arts and environmental issues. In 2013, she wrote and produced the nation’s first 3D animation film, designed to promote awareness of environmental issues among children. Previously, she produced several cultural DVDs archiving Tajik dance and biocultural diversity; was a Field Production Manager on the documentary Buzkashi! By Najeeb Mirza (Canada); from 1999-2005 was the manager of Gurminj Museumin Dushanbe, an important museum of musical instruments; has been involved in the administration of multiple government and NGO research projects and publications in Tajikistan; and has been the organizer of several major art exhibitions. She holds a Masters degree from the University of Turin, Italy and an undergraduate degree in Russian Language and Literature. She has been Arts and Culture Program Coordinator at Open Society Institute (OSIAF) Tajikistan since 2014. She co-produced “After the Curtain” along with Emelie Mahdavian (USA).
(From Arts & International Affairs)